Chapter 25: A Safe Place at Last
As Emma Clare dies, she dances into the shaman’s realm, which is a different
area of reality. After leaving her home in the prologue, the blind shaman
has walked clear across Europe, teaching and healing along the way. She
ends up in northern Scotland, where she is adopted by “barbarians” and
becomes the Lady of the Isle. She is an undying protector of women.
Time has no meaning for the shaman. When she appears in the next chapter,
she will have to be about 6 ½ thousand years old. “Lady” is the only real
name she ever has.
People who see auras often see people as pillars (or eggs) of colored
light. Colors are symbolic. Yellow is an intellectual color, orange is
a social color, purple denotes royalty, brown signifies groundedness, red
is both anger and energy, and green is fertility and growth.
The little boy she heals and takes to the starry paths is probably not
Matthew (no green eyes, but a green aura). This is intentionally vague.
In her final speech in the prologue, the shaman predicted that her people
might become the Old Ones, or Fairies, the earlier race of small, dark
people said to have created their own world in Neolithic Europe before
they were eradicated by later, taller, whiter races.
The shaman’s words, spoken in the prologue and repeated here—“Make up
new stories to help you recall who you have been”—are a paraphrase of a
quotation much loved by feminists and witches in the 1980s and early ’90s.
“There was a time when you were not a slave. … [M]ake an effort to remember,
or, failing that, invent.” This is from
Les Guerillères by Monique Wittig.
The Celts and other early peoples had schools in remote places and on
islands. Most of these schools, and their pagan traditions, were destroyed
by Roman armies and Christian missionaries.
The Picts seem to have been in Scotland by the Dark Ages in Europe (roughly
from the fall of the Roman Empire (476 CE) to the reign of Charlemagne
(ca. 800). For a really good book with characters that may be Picts in
The Wee Free Men (2004) by Terry Pratchett. Well, no, it may
not be "real" history, but you’ll laugh your socks off, and at this point
Secret Lives we need a laugh. Crivens!
The Black Mother appears again to the blind shaman on the island. Here
we see the island vision from chapter 11 from the shaman’s point of view.
We also learn that the shaman came to help our women in the weather war.
The famous historical women she touched might have benefited from her
help and comfort. Most of them were, alas, defeated by the infamous patriarchy.
Cleopatra was the last queen of Egypt before it fell to Rome. Zenobia was
a Syrian queen who led a failed revolt against the Roman Empire. Hypatia
really died as described. (The 2009 film
Agora is mostly watered-down nonsense.) Pope Joan may have been
Pope Joan  is an interesting novel by Donna Woolfolk Cross.)
Eleanor was married to and imprisoned by Henry II. (The 1968 film,
The Lion in Winter, is largely accurate.) Tamara was the “king”
of Georgia at the end of the 12th century. Everyone knows about Joan of
Arc, who was arrested by the English and turned over to the Inquisition.
Queen Jinga Mbandi was an Angolan queen who tried to drive the Portuguese
out of her land. Harriet Tubman was an African American humanitarian who
used the Underground Railroad to take slaves out of the South and worked
for women’s rights after the end of the Civil War. Sor Juana Ines de la
Cruz was a Mexican nun and poet. Clara Schumann was the sister of Robert
Schumann and is believed to have written much of the music he took credit
for. Isadora Duncan is said to be the creator of modern dance. Hildegard
and Julian were medieval Christian nuns and mystics. St. Theresa was a
Spanish nun, mystic, saint, and reformer of the Carmelite Order. Mother
Theresa was an Albanian Catholic nun and founder of the Missionaries of
Charity in Calcutta, India. Simone Weil was a French philosopher and social
activist who is said to have starved herself to death in sympathy with
the inmates of the Nazi concentration camps. Susan Griffin is the author
Woman and Nature (1979), a beautiful and important early feminist
work that every woman should read.
Have you ever had any encounters with Old Ones, Fairies, or Good Neighbors?
What happened? Did it really happen? In what realm of reality?
Do you see auras? In color? What do people’s auras tell us about them?
Why do you think the shaman has lived so long? Where is she now?
Copyright © 2011 by Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. All rights reserved. Permission
granted to print this page of the
Secret Lives Reader’s Guide for personal use only.